chapter  8
10 Pages

Hate crime in Europe

WithMichael Whine

The participating states made a commitment “to consider enacting or strengthening, where appropriate, legislation that prohibits discrimination based on, or incitement to hate crimes”. Subsequently, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council adopted a decision in 2009 exclusively devoted to combating hate crime. In 1991, the OSCE, which succeeded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, expressed participating states’ concerns over crimes based on prejudice, discrimination, hostility or hatred, and pledged to take action against them. The 2005 Warsaw Declaration binds European Union (EU) Member States to “greater complementarity between EU and Council of Europe legal texts”, but in reality policy responses to hate crime can differ widely. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights put it succinctly: Political rhetoric on human rights in Europe is different from daily reality.